This is not the typical snowy Belgium* village scene, so reminiscent of the bleak yet quaint mid winter, but take a close look at the dessert carried by the little girl: it looks like a Christmas Pudding to me! Everything about this painting -- the title, the guests bearing gifts, the implied hospitality, the flowers, the swans a - swimming, the custom and ceremony -- brings to mind Eleanor Farjeon's joyful carol:
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.
~ Eleanor Farjeon ~
Here is the entire painting as Gerry and I saw it last January (2015)
when we visited the Groeninge Museum in Bruges:
Emile Rommelaere, 1873 - 1961
And, in keeping with the season . . .
St. Nicholas Altarpiece, 1486-93
Oil on oak panel, 102 x 82 cm
Groeninge Museum, Bruges
Legend of St Lucy Triptych, 1480
Oil on oak panel, 79 x 183 cm
Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy,
active in Bruges between 1480 and 1500
*Also at the Groeninge:
The Meebrug in Bruges Covered With Snow
Flori Van Acker, 1858 - 1940
On the slightly less serious side:
American Tourist Photobombs Fake Medieval Portrait
at the Historium Bruges Museum